Cutting-edge technological innovations in the field of forensic science has always been spurred by criminals and their insatiable pursuit of the perfect crime. Here are a few modern forensic advances that strike fear in the hearts of those nefarious characters who walk amongst us.
Ballistics: High-Speed Photography
The precise and skillful investigation of a crime scene is a crucial first step towards unlocking the mystery surrounding a crime. Modern advances in high-speed photography have led to the development of ballistic investigations that literally slow down time.
Now, investigators can see (to a microsecond precision) the trajectory and velocity of projectiles such as bullets, glass and debris. The high-speed photography provides ballistics specialists with an opportunity to pinpoint and match contact marks and exit wounds. The result of this technology has led to more efficient, informed and productive crime scene investigations.
Digital Surveillance: X-Box
The ever increasing popularity of smartphones and gaming consoles has opened the door for criminals looking for covert locations to store their illicit data, such as photos, audio and video files. Specifically, game consoles have been used as place to store incriminating data because of the knowledge that law enforcement will generally focus on the home’s desktop or laptop computers, as opposed to their seemingly innocuous X-Box machine.
Because of the different nature in which X-Box’s are designed, the identity and extraction of data, for forensic investigators, is more challenging than with a personal computer. In response to this issue, computer scientist David Collins has designed a utility that enables investigators to extract an image of the data from an X-Box, which subsequently allows them to explore the directory structure of the hardware.
Bodies, Chemicals and Blood Spatter
There are many more exciting advances in forensic science technology, including a new device that detects chemicals released by decomposing bodies. This is highly useful in missing persons cases. In the Pacific Northwest, a chemist is mastering a technique which detects the source of impurities in a certain chemical. This technique will hopefully lead to more arrests from terrorist attacks.
A couple of physicists recently came up with a mathematical equation that analyzes how droplets from blood spatter falls off ceilings and walls. This will aid investigators in better determining what specifically happened during the criminal attack.
Whenever criminals find a new method to aid them in their illicit behavior, forensic science is usually right there with a potent response. What are some ideas or techniques that you would like to see in the future?
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